Beastie Boys' Mike D on his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction and Art Show - Rolling Stone
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Beastie Boys’ Mike D on his Hall of Fame Induction and Art Show

Diamond talks about his ’emotional’ trip to Cleveland and melding art with music in L.A.

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Mike D attends the preview of 'Transmission LA: AV Club' at The Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The Beastie Boys’ Mike Diamond has had a big April. Earlier this month he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, on a night he tells Rolling Stone was much more heavy than expected. “I was unprepared for how real that whole moment was gonna be,” Diamond says. “And I know that probably sounds like it’s full of shit, but for anybody that goes up there to accept that award I feel you can’t help but have this, ‘Wow, who woulda thunk it?'”

Accepting the honor brought back memories for Diamond. “Here we were, this group of young teenagers running around New York City that went to punk rock shows too early, listened to music too loud, spent too much time playing music together,” he says. “And somehow, 30 years later, there you are in Cleveland. So it’s a very emotional experience.”

Diamond didn’t have much time, however, to revel in his band’s big night. Five days later Transmission L.A.: AV Club, the art show he’s been curating in L.A., launched with an opening night celebration featuring a performance by Santigold.

Along with Santigold, the 17-day exhibit, which closes May 6th, will feature sets by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy with DJ Harvey on May 3rd and Diplo and the Mad Decent Crew May 5th. For Diamond, bringing in Murphy and Harvey to play at an art show was ideal. “To me that DJ Harvey and James are gonna do a night, that’s perfect,” he says.”If you had to pick somebody that’s party music with an artistic conscience, I guess it would be those guys.”

Diamond drew heavily on his friends to provide the musical soundtrack for the art show, including some special guests. “There are a couple of unannounced people that I cannot say that I’m psyched are gonna be part of it,” he says. Could it be any of his fellow inductees from the Rock Hall? “Guns N’ Roses were not interested,” he says, laughing. “That’s a lie.”

Whenever the time comes for the the Beasties reemerge, Diamond is hoping to incorporate his experiences from this art show with the group. “It’s that kind of limitless possibility and execution that absolutely I would apply to a tour in the future,” he says, having been very inspired by the visual artists.”There’s a great freedom I got working with the artists here, because artists really are in the business of executing things that anybody would tell them is not possible. That, to me, is a very big creative inspiration.”

And if he has his way, those artists could very well be part of the Beasties’ plans. “Having worked with some of these artists, there are a lot of them that I would probably try to figure out applications to work with them on and collaborate with on different elements for tours in the future.”


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